Parents Playing Favorites

It’s easy to say that parents should never play favorites.? But if we’re honest, it’s a lot harder in practice. We are all someone’s kid, and many of us are someone’s parent.? In at least one of those roles most of us have experienced favoritism – either showing it, or experiencing it as a sibling.? It’s not that we don’t love all of our kids, or that our parents didn’t love all of theirs. For a moment, let’s assume love is not the issue. ?Sometimes though, we simply mesh better with some......

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Why Be Negative When You Can Be Positive

I just saw Liberal Arts, a nostalgic coming-of-age indie film directed by and starring Josh Radnor (of How I Met Your Mother) that tells the story of Jesse, a 35-year-old college admissions officer in New York City who loves literature and language who has a romantic relationship with Zibby, a 19-year-old college student. ?The film deals with the addictive pull of nostalgia for our youth but there is a line in the film that caught my attention. Jesse is overly negative and judgmental and at one point after dissing a book Zibby......

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Using Gladwell's Insight to Inspire Those Who Need It Most

I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.? Like Gladwell’s prior books this one is entertaining, with great story-telling that explores one counterintuitive thesis. ?Blink compelled us to trust our guts. ?The Tipping Point suggested we seek out and invest in “influencers”.? And in Outliers, Gladwell posits that it isn’t talent, but rather luck and hard work that are far more important. As always with Gladwell you need to read him while understanding that what he “proves” is always more true......

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Why a Controversial Baseball Play Should Be More Than a Metaphor

For the first time in baseball history?- and in the World Series no less?- a game ended because the umpire called “obstruction”.     Will Middlebrooks, the third baseman for the Boston Red Sox, lunged for a throw from the catcher Jarrod Satalamacchia but could not reach it. He fell, and while lying on the ground he tripped Allen Craig who was rounding third base trying to score. Though Craig was out at the plate with plenty of room to spare, Jim Joyce the umpire, immediately called obstruction. According to this rarely......

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Video: Innovating Compassion. A Discussion with Irwin Kula, Angela Maiers and James Doty, M.D.

So a neurosurgeon, a visionary educator and a rabbi walk into a bar…? I met Dr. James Doty and Angela Maiers a few weeks back at BIF9, a remarkable gathering of over 400 innovators from across fields – science, technology, business, health, music, education, design, and social justice. Thirty-two people were invited to tell their innovation stories, each of which enchanted and elevated heart, mind and spirit. The first three stories – mine, Angela’s, and James’ were just released and there has been such buzz around them that we decided it would......

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Take the "Talk to Strangers" Challenge

If there is one universal piece of parenting advice, both given and received it is likely: “Don’t Talk to Strangers, it’s Dangerous”.? In a country where approximately 160,000 children a year are kidnapped by non-family members and thousands more are exploited on the Internet, ?it is obviously critically important to teach our children about strangers.? But I wonder, what is lost when this same advice is heeded by adults.? Do we really want a world in which no one speaks to strangers?? What do we lose personally and collectively by not talking......

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What Jet Lag Can Teach Us About Embracing Change

I hate jet lag.? Hardly a provocative statement? – does anyone really like jet lag?? Who could possibly enjoy waking up at odd hours, or worse, falling asleep at dinnertime? ?But I wonder if there is anything to be learned from jet lag.? This week as I returned from a trip overseas, I began to realize that I could find some lessons in dealing with jet lag.? I realized that in using the practices I have discovered over the years to counteract jet lag, I could also apply them to some of......

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Can the Death of a Parent Bring Families Together?

Few moments in life are as difficult as losing one’s parent. In the swirl of sadness and mourning, a parent’s death can unify or further divide the surviving family. In some cases, the highly charged emotions may amplify issues between siblings. But this can also be a remarkable opportunity to heal some of those long-standing hurts and wounds that are part of every family I know, including my own. There can be a positive potential for healing in this otherwise excruciating moment. Certainly, there are always reasons to resist coming together, especially......

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In Today's News Cycle, Has the Term 'Bullying' Lost Its Meaning

Brad Lewis took to YouTube and Facebook within hours of burying his son, Jordan, who shot himself in the heart.? “This bullying has to stop,” Lewis said in a seven-minute video. But is it right to blame a suicide on bullying?? Is it really that simple?? Aren’t many more kids bullied than the number of kids who harm themselves?? Has the term lost its impact because it means so many different things? I asked myself these questions after reading the story about Brad and Jordan Lewis, and I even found that I......

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How Reading Literary Fiction Makes Us More Empathetic

My grandmother used to say, ‘you are what you eat’, (even despite her lovingly burning everything she cooked).? My mother would say, ‘you are how you spend your money’ while my father would think ‘you are what you spend your time on’. And I can still hear my middle school principal’s admonishment ‘you are who your friends are’. ?Undoubtedly, they were all right to some extent, as lots of things contribute to “who we are”. Well, that list just got longer.? ?According to psychologists David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano at the......

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